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forged documents. then -- then this scene! john paul's emotional reunion with his family late last night in san antonio. he and his father were located in june. the state department asked the french courts for a custody hearing. mom won. the father faces perjury and kidnapping charges in texas. can't get enough of that scene. that's an ordeal. with a happy ending. let's rock. cnn "newsroom" continues right now with ali velshi in new york city. doctor. >> tony, change the name of your show to "what's hot." because the whole thing is hot. >> love you, doc. have a great show. >> consider me your news guide. we're mapping out important information for today and tomorrow. breaking down ideas, seeking out innovation. we are about access and understanding and there's a lot to understand. so let's get started. here's what i've got on the rundown. mid east peace talks have been held time and again.
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they have failed time and again. but the administration thinks this week's round might be different. we'll tell you why. plus, we'll put decades of conflict into perspective for you. you'll be able to explain it to someone else when we're finished. also, schools where the overwhelming majority of teachers are happy and the overwhelming majority of students go on to bigger and better things. they are out there. and you'll meet a guy who says he can turn your child's school into one of them. plus, a long-time political fixture in alaska is out, a virtual unknown is in. and that means the tea party has made another big stride toward november. we'll look at the big picture for you. ♪ cnn is your hurricane headquarters. we've got lots on the latest hurricane. earl is what he is called. even though it's been downgraded to a the category 3 storm, earl is still very powerful, very dangerous. it's packing 125 mile an hour
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winds, threatening the eastern seaboard. a hurricane warning has now been issued for north carolina. president obama is staying on top of the situation. he spoke by phone this morning with fema chief, craig fugate who will join me live by phone in the next hour. here's what it looks look right now in north carolina. is this a live web cam near the town of duck. yeah, you heard me right. doesn't look too serious. as earl moves closer to the state, dozens of natural guard troops have been ordered to report for duty. the day before a hurricane arrives often looks very calm. mandatory evacuations have also been ordered along north carolina's outer banks on ocracoke island. people are leaving the only way they can, by ferry. not everybody is getting out. >> none of my neighbors are leaving. we're just going to hang in and ride her out. >> they'll throw us off the island. that's all right. we'll just camp somewhere else. in virginia, the navy is
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also preparing, ready to move 35 ships at naval station norfolk out of harm's way if necessary. and not knowing what earl will do, people like these boaters are going ahead and making plans as far north as massachusetts. another threat, rip currents. red flags posted along many beaches warning about danger. about 65 people were pulled from the water in virginia beach yesterday. a hurricane couldn't come for a worst time for business that depends on tourism dollars from the labor day weekend. some travelers are starting to cancel hotel reservations ahead of the storm. before we bring in chad myers, i want to show you this video from one of our i-reporters. earl whipped up very strong winds in saint kit's, causing some boats to wash ashore. this was yesterday in saint kits. let's do what we have to do. this is your hurricane headquarters at cnn, and when there is a hurricane, chad is our man on it. chad, what have you got? >> ali, the problem with this storm is that it's not a
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category 4 anymore. i don't want people to take a little sigh of relief and say, okay, it's not so big. it's as big as katrina was when kate katrina made land fall. we're only a few miles per hour before theurcane status and it could still go back to category 4. it's an impressive storm, has a tight eye right now. didn't have a very good eye at all yesterday. much more compact storm again. >> tell me what that means, chad. we talk about that a lot when we cover hurricanes. what does it mean what it's got a tight eye or more compact eye? >> okay, we're thinking about the little skater that skates on the ice in the olympics. when she's out there skating, she is skating around, she's doing a little thing, but then she decides to spin, spin with her arms in and her legs in, and that spin is very, very fast. then all of a sudden, some other thing -- she puts one leg out, keeps one leg in. when the arms are out like that,
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and the leg is out, she spins slower. it's -- the -- conservation of angular momentum. more than you ever wanted to know. but anyway, when a eye gets very small, this spin gets bigger. stronger. faster. because the hurricane basically bringing its arms in. and as the arms come in, the middle of the eye gets more dangerous. the eyewalls get more dangerous. eye is still very calm, but you never want to be in that, even if you're a storm chaser, you don't want to be in the eye, because the winds are coming one way -- >> and change direction. >> yeah. so the whole storm system still has to turn. this is the key to this storm. and hasn't it been for now ten days, ali, waiting for the storm to turn? waiting for the paint to dry? it is still not turning. that is the line that it is on right now. so without any turn, without any deflexion, this thing makes landfall somewhere between myrtle beach and jacksonville.
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every computer model says turn, but so have they been saying that for ten days. so that's why -- get rid of this map. that's why the parts of north carolina into virginia, have either hurricane watches, tropical storm watches or right here, hurricane warnings in effect. because if this storm comes in and doesn't turn in time -- say it's turning, but doesn't turn in time, and this thing runs right across, we're going to lose an awful lot of beach here. sometimes you lose the island all together. you lose the road. and there's another what they call cut in the island, because it's just a big hunk of sand. the sand gets washed away, so does the road. and then you get another island, and is you can't get back and forth because the bridge is gone. that can happen. the forecast is for it could be out here. let's hope that turn turns, because right now, it's not. we'll keep watching. >> say, chad, i want to ask you, before you put that thing up you're looking at, there was another window that was on the right side on the top of your chart, which shows the cone of uncertainty, if you will.
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i still see that looking at the upper part of the east coast. is that -- i mean, this thing can -- can still get higher? >> yes. the high pressure out here is releasing its westwardly push. that's why the storm is still moving from east to west. but that high is moving away, and it's beginning to get this part of the high, starting to get the turn. but as it gets back up here to the north, there's a major low pressure center up here. way up into canada. that could actually suck it back around and suck it back into atlantic canada, maybe toward greenland and iceland. so this thing may not be just done with one turn. it may come up, it may come in, and it may turn back. now, that turn back is cape cod. that's ugly. if this turn doesn't happen soon enough, that's landfall, north carolina, that's ugly. and then somewhere here, that would be right there, still in the cone, that would be long island. how many people are going to be out there. >> a lot of people go out there. >> absolutely.
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fonch >> for the labor day weekend. i knew if i gave you half an inch, would you blame canada somehow. >> never blame our people in atlantic canada. love them, love nova scotia. >> we will, of course -- cnn is your hurricane center for this, and we will stay on top of it. chad will. thanks, chad. the phrase almost synonymous with dead ends, but peace talks under way in washington. a special u.s. envoy says this time may be different. i'll show you what they're talking about when they come back. there's no way to hide it. sir, have you been drinking tonight? if you ride drunk, you will get caught... and you will get arrested.
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just hours after president obama turned the page on the war in iraq, he is hoping to write a new chapter on a older mid east drama. he has brought the palestinian authority for their first direct mid east peace talks in years. today at the white house, he is holding separate meetings with netanyahu seen here, and moments from now, with palestinian president mahmoud abbas. later, he'll meet with jordan's king abdullah, and within the past hour, mr. obama and netanyahu stepped out to speak with reporters. here's what the president said about the ever-present threat of terrorism. >> there are going to be extremists and rejectionists who rather than seeking peace are going to be seeking destruction. and the tragedy that we saw yesterday where people were gunned down on the street by
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terrorists who are purposely trying to undermine these talks is an example of what we're up against. but i want everybody to be very clear, the united states is going to be unwavering in its support of israel's security. >> okay. so the goal of these talks is a viable palestinian state that has neighborly relations with israel. that is not new. nor are the sticking points, chiefly borders and israel settlements in the west bank. a self-imposed ten-month ban on new settlements expires. they won't talk peace unless the ban is renewed. you could say it takes a village to restart mid east peace talks and here are the key
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villagers. netanyahu, elected in had in 2009. this is his second time as prime minister. he supports the creation of a palestinian state, only if it's demill tarized. he's a familiar face to americans, spent a lot of time here and also part of his childhood in the united states. and he was a former finance minister in israel. mahmoud abbas, a former prime minister, replaced yassir arafat when he died. he co founded the fatah faction, the main political group in the palestinian liberation organization. he was also the main architect of the 1993 oslo accords, which some people believe was the best chance for peace that those two sides have ever had. over on the right, notice there is no picture there? that's hamas. they weren't invited. and even if they were, they probably wouldn't have come. they operate in gaza, the goal of hamas. by the way, hamas is an elected government. although they are -- their goal is to have an islamist
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palestinian state, they have been designated a terrorist organization by the united states, u.s. won't talk to hamas, israel won't talk to hamas, hamas doesn't seem that keen on talking to them, either. u.s. president barack obama, a key player saying he would deal with the conflict. some people say he hasn't done enough. on the third day of his presidency, he appointed the guy next to him, former senator george mitchell. he has been the envoy to the middle east, trying to bring the two sides closer. he will attend the peace talks this week. he has been a long time media editor between the two. and they are being hosted by the state department, secretary hillary clinton hosting them. not only is she the secretary of state, but her husband, bill clinton, was the -- was also a president who made great efforts to achieve peace between the two sides. the talks tomorrow will be direct talks between mahmud abbas of palestine and benjamin the netanyahu of israel.
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jordan's king abdullah is going to be there. his father was a consequentant fixture. jordan is one of two countries that has peace agreements. the other one egyptian president hazmubark, and on the right, tony blair, representing the middle east quarter at the time trying to get peace, the u.s., russia, the u.n. and the european union. all right, we'll have more on that later. troops coming back from the battlefield now facing a new challenge, being jobless in a tough economy. the numbers are startling, and i've got a special guest coming up. you talk to these guys. they go through every car and truck we make with a big fat red pencil. because they know a family's going to be inside. a teenager. a guy on the way to the job. the engineers of chevrolet. just another reason why we can offer
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a 5-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. and another reason why a chevy's a chevy.
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your money today. the unemployment rate for july, 9.5%. we'll get a new number on friday. but july was a savings that was in june. one group is dealing with troubling numbers well above the national average. those are veterans from the wars in iraq and afghanistan. tony harris, a special guest, not only a special guest on the show, which we're thrilled about, a special guest, talk about being on my turf. on the money topic. tony. >> i think i'm all over your marks here. it's comfortable. good. >> my marks are your marks. >> i've got to tell you something, we have an aali, watching families being reuniteded. we're talking about iraq war veterans coming home to their families in wonderful receptions like this one. you remember this from a couple weeks ago, the fourth stryker brigade returning to the seattle area. and all of the hugs and the kisses and the families being reunited again. here's the thing. there were a lot of service personnel who have finished their enlistments and now it's
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time to transition, right, from a military job into the civilian work force, and as we talk about all the time, this is a difficult and challenging time to be looking for a job. take a look at this. you mentioned it just a moment ago. the national unemployment rate stands right now at 9.5%. but take a look at the number for returning veterans of the iraq and afghanistan wars. we're talking about iraq and afghanistan veterans from 2001 on. look at the unemployment figure. it's at 11.8%. and this is from the department of labor. if you take a look -- this is up. this is actually up from last year, okay, 9.8% last year. what was the overall national unemployment rate? that time? last year? it was at 9.4%. so you see the trend here. but let's get the statistics. let's talk about individuals and what this means for returning veterans, what it means for them and their statements to try to transition, work for their family. this is richard wilts, and listen to how difficult a
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struggle it has been for him to find work. >> i was putting out resume after resume, i would have some interviews. and you just -- i just didn't get hired. i had to go back overseas, because i couldn't find work. it was just -- i volunteered to go back to iraq. >> so that's what he did. so he went back and did another tour in iraq. he was that frustrated as he was attempting to transition and find a job to take care of his family in this difficult, difficult jobs environment. so what do we want to do here? we want to give returning vets every opportunity they can to be successful, and to navigate this. so we found a website that we think can be helpful. michael, let's take a look at this website. it is career one transition. doesn't get any simpler than that, ali. and once you go there, you will see a number of links. some that we want to point out for you right now. for example, there was a link matching military skills to civilian jobs. i don't have to tell you how important that would be. there is another link that is
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titled, where and how to get certifications and licenses for various jobs. how about something as simple as resume crafting? there is a link for that, as well. how to prepare resumes and a state by state link to jobs, banks in the very states across the country. so what we're suggesting here is that you just -- if you're a returning veteran trying to transition, we know in this environment it can be difficult to find that job to get yourself going again. there is one option for you that you can consider. it is career one transition to maybe get you started. ali. >> tony, you know, a few years ago, it was a different economy. but one of the things i remember talking to people who represent companies that franchise businesses out, and they used to tell me they loved having veterans back, because to run your own business, to franchise, requires a certain amount of discipline and they found -- >> yes, mission-focused. >> yeah, totally mission-focused, follow directions, make it work,
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problem-solve. veterans do very well in small businesses. i know it's a tough economy to get a loan for a small business, but they do well. >> and let's be clear. the other issue on this we're trying to get greater clarity on is are the returning veterans, do they have the necessary educational skills. do they have the tools, right, in order to compete in this work force is something we have talked about a lot and it's something that we will continue to follow. >> tony, it's a real pleasure to have you on this side of 1:00 p.m. eastern. what a pleasure to see you. you have yourself a great day. >> you too, sir. if you want to tune in to get more information about money every weekend, we put a lot into topics just having to do with your money on a show here at cnn called "your money." saturday 1:00 p.m. eastern, sunday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. we talk about investing, we talk about jobs. in fact, this weekend it's going to be all about jobs because of the big jobs report we're expecting on friday. there is technology out there that you can put -- that can put you into a whole new world. and it does it by turning you into a human hamster.
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pretty cool stuff. stick around. eal shock. i remember being at the hospital thinking, "i should have done more to take care of myself." you should've. that's why i'm exercising more now. eating healthier. and i also trust my heart to lipitor. [ male announcer ] when diet and exercise are not enough, adding lipitor may help. lipitor is a cholesterol-lowering medication that is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. lipitor is backed by over 18 years of research. lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. dean will never forget what he went through. don't take your health for granted. [ male announcer ] have a heart to heart with y. and about lipitor.
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and i'm actual agent larissa buerano. larissa can tell you how you can get discounts of up to 40%. but so can your neighbors. they can also tell you how state farm's new pocket agent iphone app can help you manage your account, find the nearest gas station, or even -- even help you call a tow truck. and those are just a few of the perks experienced by the 40 million drivers insured by state farm. so, talk to your neighbors. then call a state farm agent, like me. ♪ that's a nice picture. thank you.
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i use capzasin quick relief gel. [ male announcer ] starts working on contact and at the nerve level to block pain for hours. capzasin. takes the pain out of arthritis. we have all seen the virtual reality worlds in movies like "the matrix" and "avatar" but now this new badget is taking the technology to casinos in vegas, and this is the part i don't understand, turns you into a human hamster. gary tuckman takes us to the edge of discovery. >> reporter: in the movie "the matrix," actor keanu reeves was trapped in a virtual world. now you can experience your own
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alternate reality inside a video game. it's called the virtuesphere, a human hamster ball that tracks your every move. >> the game is placing you inside the center of that story, where you are focus point. >> get a 3-d headset that allows you to see the world, and also a sensor that tracks which way the surface is rolling so you get a really true 3-d experience. >> reporter: you can walk, spin around and even run inside the sphere during an action-packed game. >> you're actually involved in the game. >> reporter: or you can just take a stroll through a virtual village in russia. virt virtuesphere was originally designed for military and police training. >> the possibilities are endless and we can't wait to work with major gaming publishers. what we can see in the next five years is placing these in hundreds of malls and major theme parks around the world. >> reporter: gary tuckman, cnn. that was interesting. all right. it took more than a week, but we
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finally know who will carry the republican banner in the 2010 alaska senates race. you may not know his name. you are certainly going to recognize his friends. one word turns innovative design into revolutionary performance. one word makes the difference between defining the mission and accomplishing the mission. one word makes the difference in defending our nation and the cause of freedom. how... is the word that makes all the difference.
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as these may worsen with spiriva. also discuss the medicines you take... even eye drops. side effects include dry mouth, constipation and trouble passing urine. i'm glad i'm taking spiriva everyday because breathing better is just better. ask your doctor if once-daily spiriva is right for you. hi, breaking news just into cnn. we have a standoff situation in silver spring, maryland. here's what we know coming in from montgomery county. there is a man armed with a gun, possibly with explosives, and he is at 1 discovery place.
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this is the discovery building in silver springs, maryland. the area has been evacuated. emergency response teams on scene. our crews are on the way to the scene. but the discovery channel building in silver springs, maryland has been evacuated. there is a man there -- a man there allegedly with a gun, possibly with explosives. and crews are on the way there. we understand emergency response teams are already there and have evacuated the immediate area. we do not know whether he has got anybody with him, we don't know where he is, but there is a picture from goggle earth. those of you in the washington, d.c. area will know the area, will know the building, that is off wayne avenue, discovery avenue, wayne and georgia in silver spring, maryland. we will keep you up to speed with what we learn about this as soon as we get more information on it. all right. eight days after alaskans voted on a gop senate candidate, we
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know who that is. lisa murkowski has conceded to, but not endorsed a challenger, backed by the tea party express. and sponsored -- endorsed by sarah palin. his name, he's on the right, his name is joe miller. if you've never heard of him, that's okay. up until a few weeks ago, most alaskans hadn't either. here is murkowski doing the math and not taking questions. >> we know we still have outstanding votes to count in this primary. but based on where we are right now, i don't see a scenario where the primary will turn out in my favor. and that is a reality that is before me at this point in time. >> okay. i want to bring in cnn's deputy political editor, a good friend of mine, paul steinhauser in washington. he has been following all of this very closely. paul, let me just get this straight. this would make -- this would make him the fifth candidate backed by the tea party whose
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sort of come out of nowhere to win a republican senate primary? and i don't know if you count marco rubio in florida, whether that's six or not. >> yeah, i'm not keeping rubio on the list. five now, miller in alaska and also you've got mike lee in utah. sharron angle in nevada, and ken buck in colorado. so you put all both together -- and brian paul in kentucky. can't leave him off. these are all candidates backed by various groups in the tea party movement who received some support from them, as well. in lee's case, in alaska, the tea party express you mentioned them, one of the leading national tea party organizations pumped up nearly $600,000 for his campaign. they ran commercials. a lot of this in the last two weeks. so these people getting a lot of support from the tea party movement, ali. >> are there anymore of these to come? are there more tea party challengers and contests to represent the republican party elsewhere in the country right now? >> we've got one last big round
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of primaries on september 14th, and the tea party express, the group that supported lee, the group that supported angle and supported miller now say they're going to support a woman called christine o'donnell in delaware. she's a conservative candidate for senate there, and she is taking on a guy called mike castle, who is known as being a moderate, the long-time congressman from delaware, and pretty popular. but now they're going after him, just like in alaska. they say these candidates aren't conservative now, that was their argument against murkowski. that's why they came to miller's support. >> does this concern the republican party? is it good news for the republican party? have they even said anything officially about the influence of the tea party express or tea party-backed candidates in their races? >> i think there's two ways to look at it. the movement is about a year-and-a-half old, right? and there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm on that side by tea party activists. and that is helping to fuel the -- i guess the fervor on the republican side. you're seeing a lot of people voting in the republican primaries this year, and the
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political winds seem to be at the republicans' back. and they have become a big player in the primary. but what happens in the general election? democrats actually in a way are almost embracing this, because they say it's pushing the republican nominees to being as they say, out of the mainstream. too conservative for the moderates and independence who on november 2nd will determine who wins or loses. we'll find out. >> joe miller is not a name most people know, but he's fairly accomplished, a gulf war veteran, he's a lawyer, he's a yale graduate. >> yep. west point graduate, and as you said, fought in the first persian gulf war, won the bronze star. and he, out of nowhere, in early june, became pretty famous in alaska because sarah palin endorsed him. and soon after that, the tea party express got involved, as well, and started helping out. but, yeah, he's a pretty accomplished guy and has got quite a resume. and he would be considered the favorite in november against the democratic candidate, the mayor of sitca. >> which means if he wins, he would be the only guy in the senate, if i'm not mistaken,
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with a beard. >> i've got to check on that, ali. >> and you will. i know you. you will check on it. i think in the old days a lot more used to have beards. i may be mistaken. are there any pald senators? trying to think. >> senator velshi. >> you call me senator, i'll call you governor. paul, good to see you as always. thanks very much. get some sleep. i hope you get some sleep. i know you were up late last night. if you want to hear more from joe miller, he's john king's guest tonight on "john king usa" 7:00 p.m. eastern, 4:00 pacific, only on cnn. well, it's now a done deal. u.s. combat operations in iraq are finally over, officially. emphasis on the word "officially." and now what's set to be the final phase of the military mission is under way. i'm going to give you a look at how we got to this point when we go globe trekking. with the best coverage in america including a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. that's 40,000 more miles than ford. chevy silverado half-ton. a consumers digest best buy and the most dependable,
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breaking news again. i want to bring you an update of the situation in silver spring, maryland. an aerial pick you ature of the discovery building. this is a live picture, but we have delayed it for important reasons. the swat teams are on the site. they have a good visual of the man who they are looking for. he does apparently have at least one hostage.
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here's what we know. he has one hostage. he also appears to have a suspicious device on his body. one man with at least one hostage and a suspicious device on his body at the discovery building in silver spring, maryland. explosive experts are on the scene or on the way to the scene to get a sense of what's going on. police say they've got a very clear visual picture of him, according to corporal dan fritz of montgomery county. that is the situation that we know now. the building has been evacuated. the area around it has been evacuated. they do not know of anything other than the one hostage that they appear to see, and they believe they see something on the man, a suspicious device is how they're describing it. so one man, one suspicious device, one hostage. that's what we know. these are the pictures of the discovery building in silver spring, maryland, just outside of washington, d.c. we'll continue to bring you more on this as we find out more about it.
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all right. time now for "globetrekking." to baghdad after more than seven years of war, vice president biden today presided over ceremonies marking the official end of u.s. combat operations in iraq. the cost? more than 4,400 american lives, an estimated 100,000 iraqis killed, and hundreds of billions of dollars. a change of command ceremony played out in baghdad today with the presentation of colors to the new commander of american forces in iraq. army general lloyd austin, just got promoted to general, actually, this morning. operation iraqi freedom comes to an end. a new mission of assistance operation new dawn has begun. on the mind of many, was the war worth it? defense secretary robert gates also in baghdad. put it this way. history will judge. he said the problem was the reason we, quote, justified going to war turned out not to be valid. he was referring to the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have ever been found. but both gates and biden had
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nothing but praise for american servicemen and women. >> this change of mission, to state the obvious, would never have been possible without the resolve and tremendous sacrifice and competence of our military. the finest of our iraqi friends will forgive us, the finest fighting force in the world, and i would argue, the finest fighting force that ever has existed. >> also presiding over the change of command ceremonies, the joint chief's chairman, admiral mike mullen. all three are acutely aware that the roots of this war are deep in history. here now is a quick look at how we got to this point. >> what we know now is iraq used to be called mesapatamia governed by the ottoman empire, but it collapsed and carved up by the victorious british and french. britain got the land, which includes present-day iraq.
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forward to the 1920s now, an estimated 9,000 iraqis were killed in uprisings against the british occupying. britain set up a government in mesapatamia and renamed the country iraq. in the 1930s, iraq became an independent nation. in the '40s after the second world war, iraq became a member of the arab league. here's where it gets interesting, in the 1950s, king faisal is killed byca seem. but in months, militants of the ba'ath party, including a young saddam hussein, try to assassinate kaseem. the attempt fails, and most of the tackers are killed, but saddam hussein survives, and is flees iraq. in the 1960s, kaseem is finally overthrown and executed. the ba'ath party assumes control of the government. saddam hussein returns to iraq. but the new government doesn't last long. it is overthrown, saddam hussein is imprisoned, but he escapes
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and an exile becomes an influential figure in the ba'ath party. when the party recaptures power in 1968, saddam hussein becomes the vice president. in the 1970s, saddam hussein remains vice president, but he's the real power behind the government. when president ahmad hasan backer steps down in 1979, saddam hussein replaces him, and deals ruthlessly with his rivals. in the 1980s, saddam hussein orders an air attack against iran, and that began eight years of war against the islamic republic. on several occasions, iraq is accused of using mustard gas and other chemical weapons against iran. the war ends in a stalemate with nearly 2 million people killed, but saddam's goal of regional supremacy is not dead. august 1990, iraq invades kuwait. after months of negotiations fail, operation desert storm begins.
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a multinational coalition led by the united states. iraqi forces are driven back, saddam hussein comes close to being overthrown by revolts in the south and the north of the country. iraq is forced to allow u.n. inspections of its weapons program, when saddam hussein obstructs inspections, britain and the united states launch air strikes against weapons facilities in iraq. after the 9/11 tacks, george w. bush declares that iraq, iran and north korea form an axis of evil. iraq unconditionally agrees to the return of the united nations want in inspectors, and speed limits a 12,000 page declaration of former weapons programs and civilian industries with military applications to the u.n. but the u.n. is not satisfied. so in early 2003, u.s. secretary of state colin powell makes the case to the u.n. that saddam hussein still harbors weapons of mass destruction. president bush issues an ultimatum to the iraqi leader
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and his family, leave iraq or face military action. saddam hussein refuses, and operation iraqi freedom is launched. coalition forces take baghdad, a large statue of saddam hussein, you'll remember this, is toppled. months later, saddam hussein is captured in a spider hole in tikrit. he's arrested. in 2004, the u.s. backed iraqi government council sign an institution, laying the ground work for future elections. a permanent constitution, and eventually a return to self-rule. millions of iraqis cast ballots in the nations first free election in half a century in 2005, but the vote is widely boycotted by the mine in order sunnis. a parliament is chosen. in 2006, saddam hussein is found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. in 2007, as the insurgency led by al qaeda in iraq grows, president bush orders a troop surge, increasing u.s. troop
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levels to more than 150,000. along with moves to turn sunnis against al qaeda, the surge helps reduce the violence. in 2008, the iraqi presidential council approves a security agreement that paves the way for the u.s. to withdraw completely from iraq by 2011. president barack obama in 2009 announces an actual date for the end of u.s. combat operations in iraq. he names august 31st, 2010. the last u.s. combat brigade leaves iraq. fewer than 50,000 troops remain in the country. all right. i want to bring you up to speed on the situation at the discovery building in silver spring, maryland. i don't know if we've still got a picture of this i can show you. you just received an e-mail sent to workers in that building at discovery channel. there is a -- that's a picture of the building, it's actually on a delay. we -- the information we have
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right now is that the -- that the police have a visual of a man in there who has a -- possibly a hostage, and may have a suspicious device strapped to his body. they have brought in explosive experts and they are examining the situation. we will bring you up to speed with what we have as soon as we've got it. i'm going to take a quick break. we'll be back on the other side. ]
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okay. we're getting more information on this hostage situation in in maryland. just outside of washington, d.c. silver spring, maryland at the discovery building complex, if you know about it. where that is, you'll recognize it. first thing i want to tell you is, we have the text of an e-mail that was sent to people in the building. it reads as follows.
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we have reason to believe there is an armed gunman at 1 discovery place. all employees should seek protection in a locked office on their respective floors immediately. what we know is the building re immediately. the buildings in the area have been evacuated. s.w.a.t. teams are on the scene. they have a very good visual contact with the suspect who does apparently have at least one hostage. he also has a suspicious device on him. he's described as short wearing a green shirt, a silver revolver and has tanks on his back. that's what we are being told at the moment. that he has tanks on his back. police have a visual of him. explosive experts are on the scene and are trying to determine the next course of actually. the area has been evacuated. we don't know if there's more than the one hostage. but he does appear to have one hostage with him and that is the situation as we know it right now. that's what we know about it. as we know more about it, i will bring that information to you. our crews are there as well.
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you can see our affiliate, wjla a bringing us these aerial shots of the scene. this is quite high up in the air. what you can't see is the activity that's going on on the streets. as we zoomed in a lot closer, you could see police officers and others around the area. but we do believe that there's been an evacuation of the building. we're not confirmed that everybody's out of the building. this is the information we have. as we get more, we will bring it to you. this is silver spring, maryland. 1 discovery place, the discovery building in silver spring, maryland, just outside of washington, d.c. our producers are on top of this story. if anything develops, we'll break into our news and bring it back to you. this is something we're following very closely right now. all this week, we are talking about fixing our schools here on cnn. here's a question for you -- can you use the charter school model to turn a public school around? our next guest says, yes. you'll meet him on the other side.
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we're going to continue our coverage of the situation in silver spring, maryland. this is just outside of washington, d.c. these pictures brought to us by a helicopter courtesy of our affiliate there, wjla. that is the discovery building. 1 discovery place on wayne in silver spring, maryland. there is a gunman in that building, the building and the campus, if you will, has been evacuated. we don't know who's left in there. there's a guman. police have a visual on this gunman who apparently has a hostage with him. he let me tell you what they know. they reported there was a suspicious device on this man.
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turns out that he's got a revolver. they seem to be able to see a revolver and they seem to see tanks on his back. i don't even know what that means. but that's what we're hearing, these suspicious devices or the suspicious device are tanks on his back. they've called in explosive experts to try and get a closer look. police know where he is. they see him. they've got a visual on him. he does appear to have a hostage. and he has tanks on his back as well as a gun. s.w.a.t. teams are on the scene. we'll continue to cover this for closely for you and bring you updates immediately as they develop. that is the situation at discovery place -- 1 discovery center in silver spring, maryland. "fix our schools," words you are going to hear a lot of on cnn this week. we have sent reporting teams across the country to document the education crisis in america. most importantly, we're going to shine a light on success stories to empower us to offer our
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children more than they're getting right now. imagine a school achieving the following -- 90% of its teachers and other staff say they have satisfied. 100% of eighth graders who have been accepted to further their education at preparatory high schools. thousands, the numbers of scholarships the students have ser earned. the schools actually exist and are charter schools in brooklyn. founded by morty balin, the ceo and founder of explore schools. he joins me now. morty, welcome. >> thank you. >> we think about charter schools as small samples that grow a grade at a time and turn things over time and some arguments go more efficiently than regular public schools. you think you can do what you're doing here in a public school. why? >> we're not getting to enough
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kids fast enough. what we learned at explore charter school is in one year, we had double-digit gains with our students. that's because the grown-ups changed their minds and did different things. >> the teachers, the administrators? >> the teachers, the administrators, the entire staff worked together as a stof to change how we were using time, the change the material we use. we think we can apply the lessons to any public school. >> in science, you would use a control group. did anything else change? are the facilities substantially improved? is the class size substantially smaller? >> no, it was the adults who said, this is not good enough and our kids were almost waiting for the kids to change their minds. >> some people think all we do is bash on public scho schoolteachers.
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is that the implication? >> i think any teacher in the right environment and working toward the same mission to achieve to the goals we set for our kids. i think too often what we do in our country is blame the kids or the families if they're not achieving when really it's the adults in the school building who -- >> what part of a kids' success is actually about the kids or the families? there has to be something. >> again, you're talking to a guy who believes strongly that schools have a profound impact on a kid's life. we are with kids nine hours a day, outside the institution of family, i know of no other institution that can have that profound impact. if we're spending our time correctly, doing the right things, working with kids over years, we'll achieve those goals. >> let's get down to brass tacks. what are the things that the adults in the school environment, the teachers, the staff, decided to do differently that have resulted in better results for the kids in the school? >> one, dig into data. individual by individual student, look at the interim
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test results every ag weeks. what does each kid need in order to achieve the standards? and then we had freedom as a charter school with resource allegation. change how teachers are using their time, change the number of kids -- >> you said as a charter school, we had freedom. could a public school under the system, without being a charter school, do what you did? >> we need the same freedoms. we need freedoms around human capital and resource allocation. >> there's a system that prevents public education systems -- >> you need the freedoms, which is the dna and the structure. and you need the specific levers you're going to change. and we've learned about both of those at explorer. what we have right now is we actually have a charter from the state of new york, we have a principal hired, we are awaiting for the school to turn around. we wrote a charter to say, give
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us a school that's failing and all of those students. >> what grades would you take? >> our goal is k through 5. >> that could be a few hundred students? >> yes. and that's why -- >> you're telling me if the state of new york gives you a school k to 5 with a few hundred students that are underperforming, you can turn it around? >> absolutely. the kids and families are waiting for us. >> so the idea here is that, this can be replicated in your mind at any level throughout -- >> that's a great question. part of what we're doing is charter schools serve 3.5% of our country's population. it takes too long each year to grow. we need a more systemic solution to our country's educational crisis. >> thank you for bringing us this information. we appreciate it. morty balin is the ceo and founder of explore schools. for more information, go to my website,
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i want to bring you back to the situation that we have been following very closely in silver spring, maryland, just outside of washington, d.c. there is a hostage situation under way. that is the discovery channel headquarters that you're looking at. the discovery building. here's what we know. there is a man holding one hostage. he appears to be armed. police say they have a very good visual of him. he appears to have a revolver and he has what they described earlier as a suspicious device on him. that device, they think, are tanks that are on his body somehow. he's wearing a green shirt. she's got a silver revolver. he's described as short. there are explosive teams. there are s.w.a.t. teams on the site. there are explosive teams on the site. and what we don't know is whether they have actual verbal connection with this hostage-taker. they do know they can see him very clearly.
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that's what they've told us. they have ordered an evacuation of the building. again, we know that he has one person with him. we don't know whether there are any more hostages and don't know whether there are people still in the offices in that building who were not able to observe the evacuation order because they felt endangered. we don't know where in the building he is. what we know is what you know right now, the building has been evacuated or at least ordered evacuated. we are -- we want to just go to the phone right now. we've got somebody who is -- michelle foreman is with me on the phone. michelle, are you there? >> yes, i'm here. >> you're in a building across the road? >> yeah, i'm with the association of public health laboratories. and ou office is on the seventh floor in the building immediately across the street. >> okay. immediately across the street. do you know which direction so we can see what we're talking about here? >> i guess, we face on georgia
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avenue -- >> i believe that's on the right side of the screen. >> yes. >> tell us what you can see from where you are. >> the streets are closed off in every direction. a few minutes ago, they expanded the closure by about a block in both directions on georgia avenue that i can see. there are heavily armed police officers surrounding the building. police cars, i see an armored vehicle. and there are several k-9 units. >> do you see streams of people coming out of the building? >> no, we haven't. however, the people have been moved somewhere. when we started watching it about 40 minutes ago, there were people in discovery that we could see looking out their office windows just as we were. and they're no longer there.
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>> from where you are, you can see the building, you can see into offices around your level. you're on the seventh floor. do you see anybody in that building? >> no, no, not anymore. and we did. those windows were filled with people just as ours are watching the situation. and they are not there any longer. >> you haven't been evacuated from your building? >> we haven't. although we did hear from building management that it was a possibility and they were watching the situation. but we have not received a call that we needed to evacuate yet. >> have you been given a call that you should be locking yourselves in offices or anything of that nature? >> no, no. nothing like that. they contacted our office manager to just kind of give them the situation in what they were hearing and asked her just to keep her cell phone on in the event that we did need to evacuate. but we have not been told -- given any instructions to evacuate or move to another area of the building or anything like that.
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>> we understand the police have a visual of this man who may be holding somebody hostage and may have some kind of a device on him. does it appear obvious to you from what you can see that police are concentrating on a particular part of the building? are they looking anywhere? do you see anything that looks like activity? >> i can only see two corners of the building. and there are definitely police concentrated at the main entrance, which is at georgia avenue and wayne. >> right. >> that is certainly where there are more police officers. the officers had their hands on their guns the entire time focused on the main lobby of the building. it's all windows. i cannot see -- i can just barely see into that lobby. i don't see anything. but if there's somebody in that lobby, then the officers on this end should absolutely be able to see them. >> and you see what appear to be s.w.a.t. team or emergency service units, something like that?
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>> yes, several. initially it was -- we saw what appeared to be fbi, several unmarked cars. and there is a large armored vehicle at one end. >> so we're looking at one corner of the building there. and there appears to be a circle or a park or something in front of that. is that the area in front of the lobby? >> yes. that's the main area. that's the area of the building that is closest to where i am. >> and that's -- because we are hearing from a montgomery county police officer that the hostage-taker is in the lobby of that building. so that would be that area that is just on our screen above that circular area at the bottom of the screen. he appears to have an explosive -- this is what the police are saying. he has a device on him. they think it's an explosive device. they are monitoring the suspect on closed circuit tv. that's how they have the visual
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of him as clearly as they do. and the fire marshal is responding because they are the folks who have expertise on explosives and they can identify the device. here's what we also know. he's not fired any weapons as far as they know. but the initial call that came in to police was that shots were fired. so we don't know what that's about either. again, the police are basing the information we're getting on what they are seeing on surveillance. it does not appear that they have direct contact with him. but it does appear, michelle, that he is in the lobby of that building. you said that's all glass enclosed? >> yeah, the main lobby of discovery is windows. as you walk by, you can see all the many things from their programming. it's a very nice building. so that is all glass enclosed. if you were on street level and walking past there, you would be
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able to say anyone who was in that space. >> does it look to you that's what's going on? there are police converged around that area? on our screen, the picture we're getting from wjla, that part of the building, because of the time of day, is completely in shadow. we can see the building but you can't see what's going on at the base of the building. we see cars moving around there a little bit. i assume these are all police cars you're seeing? >> yes, all police cars. there are several unmarked cars. but, yes, all police cars. and just from where i can see, there are six police officers positioned immediately outside of this lobby area. several others, of course, at other -- at the other end of the building and positioned behind some of the police cars. >> is that an area that normally has people walking around or is this the kind of thing where it's offices and you drive in and you go into the garage and go to your office? >> no, this is a -- it's
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generally a ton of traffic. there's a large pedestrian mall immediately across the street with lots of shopping and restaurants and things. particularly during the business day, this area is just buzzing with people. so it is -- and with traffic. georgia avenue is a main road into -- >> michelle, i'm going to interrupt you just to give you the basics that we know about the situation for viewers who are joining us. you're looking at the discovery channel headquarters. this is in silver spring, maryland. what we understand from police is that there's a hostage situation under way. one man apparently, the police have visuals of him in the lobby of the discovery building. he appears to have a device on him. police say that the device appears to be tanks and that he is armed. they seem to see a revolver. they're looking at him on closed circuit tv. and fire marshal experts and explosives have been called in to try and help identify the
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device. as far as we know, no shots have been fired. but there was an initial call that came in to police that said that shots were fired and they're trying to get a handle on whether there's anybody else around and what the explosive that he's got on him might actually be. that's the discovery building in silver spring, maryland. this is right outside of washington, d.c. michelle, stay with us. we obviously are monitoring this situation very closely. michelle is across the road in a building and she's monitoring it for us, along with us. we'll continue to monitor this and we'll come back if anything changes. expedia lets me mix and match airlines. i can take one airline out... and another home. so with more flight options, i can find the combination that gets me there and back quickest. where you book matters. expedia.
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looking at in the middle, the l-shaped building that has satellite dishes on the top, the white framed windows, that is the discovery building, the headquarters of discovery channel and its related channels. 1 discovery place in silver spring, maryland. here's what we know. there is a hostage situation under way in there. there's one suspect and police have seen one person with that suspect. the building's been evacuated or so they hope. police say they've got good visual contact with the suspect. no verbal contact, as far as we know. but they can see him because he appears to be in the lobby of the building. that's what we have received from corporal dan fritz of the montgomery county police department. he appears to have something on him, which they have described as a suspicious device. the best information we have from police is that there appear to be tanks on him. as a result, they are monitoring him using the building's closed circuit security tv system. and fire marshals are responding
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to the scenement they're on site now, i would imagine. the fire marshals there are the explosive experts. they are trying to determine what that device is, whether it's explosive or not. we don't know that it is an explosive device. but they do seem to think that they are tanks. now, as far as police know, he's not fired any weapons. but we have heard that he appears to have a revolver on him. initial call that came in were that shots were fired. that's everything we know at the moment. i've got michelle forman on the phone. she is across the street in a building on the seventh floor, had a better vantage point of this than we do from here. michelle, any developments since we last spoke? >> not really. every now and then, the officers will shift or move. but there has been -- we haven't seen anything. >> erin cohen, are you on the phone? erin?
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okay. erin cohen, are you there? okay. i'm going to ask my control room to see if we can find aaron cohen. he is somebody who has worked on counterterrorism. he can give us a sense of what police are probably doing right now to try and deal with this. this is a densely populated suburb of washington, d.c., silver spring, maryland. anybody in the d.c. area will know it very well. you'll know this building very well. it's a densely populated suburb and it's a, as you can see from the buildings around there, mostly office buildings and police have evacuated the discovery channel headquarters, which is the one we're looking at right now. apparently they have not evacuated buildings in the vicinity. but streets have been closed off, access to the roads in the neighborhood have been closed off. maybe we can get a different shot of this by going to the newsroom. josh levs is there. josh, what are you finding out
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on this? >> we do have this aerial shot. i've opened it on google earth. anytime that you see a situation like this in which there could be a hostage situation, a potential gunman inside the building, authorities immediately look not only at activity in that building but also they look immediately at surrounding area. was there illegal activity, dangerous activity in the area around there? what we do expect to see and believe is happening right now is that authorities are looking into that entire area. let's zoom in. i want everyone to get a general sense of this part of silver spring, maryland. silver spring is up here. washington, d.c. is down here. you're working your way north as you get into this area where discovery communications has its building here. what you can see is a busy area, a lot of major buildings in this section, also there is a lot of activity.
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certainly at this time on a weekday, you would have a lot of activity. and also another thing to note about this building, as you can tell, very big, a lot of potential entrances, a lot that goes on in this building. what we can understand is that authorities are certainly taking a look at the whole big picture right now. they're taking a look at not only what's going on in this building but certainly checking about whether there have been other problems in that area. everyone hopes it's confined to one person and people would be informed if there are any other problems. but authorities are looking to see he's going on here. they do start to look at any potential clue at all, given a good visual of this person, trying to find out everything they possibly can about this person. if this person has had any kind of relationship to what's gone on, ever been there, ever worked inside, familiar with some parts of the building or not. they're gathering all of that while also taking a look at the big picture. that's what we're watching right now. what clues do they pick up about
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what might have led to this happening, this building right here. >> josh, thanks for staying on top of it for us. three streets on either side of that building. those streets have been closed off. that's the actual aerial picture you just saw. there is a day care in the building. the day care has been successfully evacuated. and the children have been taken off sit. aaron cohen, are you on the phone with me now? aaron cohen? >> i'm here. can you hear me? >> yeah, hi, aaron. you're the former israeli defense force member. you are trained in dealing with things like that. what do you think -- tell us what we think is happening right now. we understand that this man is armed. he probably has a pistol on him, according to police. he's got something that appears to be on his body, tanks, is what we've been told. they're watching him on closed circuit tv. apparently they can see him.
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they've got him in on the system and they're using that to determine what that is that might be on him, what those tanks might be. knowing all that, what do you make of this situation? >> well, hostage situations aren't uncommon in israel. and now me and my associates, we trained in the u.s. for these kind of situations. the first thing they try to do is trying to slow down the process, slow down this situation and try and engage in some type of dialogue with the hostage-taker for two reasons. one is to be able to figure out exactly what his demands are, to see if they're realistic and if they can be met. more often than not, the poin is not really to get the demands met as much as it is to slow down the situation to try and extend this as long as possible, to try and tire out the situation and tire out the individual. while simultaneously doing the second tier of a proper tactical
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operation which is to position that tag team and primarily sharpshooters to be able to look through those lenses to see exactly where this guy is inside of the building and get some type of visual intelligence, which is fed back to that command post which is probably set up in proximity to that discovery building. they're deciding what they're going to do next, which is either continue to slow things down to get him to come out or do what's called a forced entry, which is where that unit -- their shooting does begin, which is a possibility. we have heard that the subject is armed. and force that s.w.a.t. team to have to go into that building which is what they don't want to do. but that's what these teams train for. >> this is obviously complicated a little bit by the fact that they say there's a suspicious device on him that may be tanks.
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they've seen a revolver and something that appears to be tanks. the revolver seems to be an easy thing to overcome. the tanks present a different problem. >> the tanks, whether or not they're real explosives, is not the immediate concern. they're treated as if they're lethal. whether or not they are lethal, again, is not the concern. they are treated as if they are lethal. they're given the highest red flag priority by the command and by that tack unit. the tricky part here is that not only is this gentleman armed, but with this hostage, time becomes very critical. if the explosive goes off and it is, in fact, a real explosive, then obviously the consequences could be deadly. and any tack team really at that point has -- basically has to
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switch to the secondary theory which is sweeping the building for additional threats. if the explosive goes off, there's nothing the tack team can do. as far as that goes, you're very limited as to what your options are, unless you're talking about getting those sharpshooters -- which is very, very tricky. i can't say exactly what the proximity from that hostage-take to er to the hostage is but i'm sure it's pretty close. the s.w.a.t. team tries to slow the situation down, tire the subject, try to get him out. if they have to go into the building, they do perform what's called dynamic entry which is where small, trooi highly trained special weapon and tactic units -- these teams have more training over the years than we have ever -- they're highly dialed in and hours and hours are spent training in
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these dynamic situations with functioning under stress and maryland is no less trained than any other city. they're a fantastic unit. if they do have to go in, which is the worst case scenario, then they will go in hard and they'll have to go in fast and have to get to that guy very quickly for the purpose of reducing risk to not only that hostage but to the team as well. if that hostage-taker is, in fact, wearing explosives. >> let me ask you this, aaron -- you seemed to emphasize that the best case scenario is to get in touch with this guy. we don't know if they have verbal contact. they have visual contact, which is a very big plus to have visual contact on a closed circuit tv. but do these people normally get worn down? is that the best outcome in these situations and how successful is that usually? >> to answer your question fairly without beating around the bush, with terrorism, no, wearing down is not typically the outcome.
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in fact, with terrorists specifically the situation involves buying enough time to be able to position a very highly trained tac team and make conventional entries. in this case, you could have an individual who's a disgruntled employee or just somebody who hasn't taken his meds and in those case, less than lethal options are obviously more plausible. unfortunately we don't know what's going on in terms of the communication. i don't want to give away any safeguards pertaining to how the s.w.a.t. teams communicate but let's just say something like a cell phone can be used to thrown into the room and hopefully over a period of time somebody who's professionally trained and being very cool and talking very calmly can get on the phone with this guy and find out what his deal is and just try to get him
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to come out and it sounds to me like they're in this holding pattern which hopefully is the situation. and it also sounds like to me like the emergency plans for that surrounding area have been affected accordingly which which is to get everybody out of that area. >> let me tell you what we know about that. thank you for bringing that up. let me tell you what we know. right now, you're looking at the discovery building, the discovery channel headquarters in silver spring, maryland. the roads around it have all been closed. we understand that that building has been evacuated. there is somebody in that building with a weapon and something on them that police think might be a tank or tanks and apparently he has one hostage. that's what we're looking at right now. we believe that hostage to be in the lobby. aaron, let me ask you this, you said you don't want to give anything away. i don't think we would if we said it is almost always at the interest of the authorities to make -- to establish contact with the hostage-taker. would you agree?
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>> absolutely. it's important to establish that communication with the hostage-taker so that you can find out exactly what he wants. in that process, it buys you time and it allows the management and the decision-makers and the leadership of that police department to slow down the process, to cool this guy out, chill him out, for lack of a better term, and be able to continue to get what we call eyes on or some type of visual connection with the hostage-taker. that's typically done via snipers or sharpshooters, looking through high-powered lenses, and it enables them to slow things down but feed that information back -- these guys want to know exactly what's on him. they want to know where he's sitting in the room. they want to know exactly how many pieces of furniture are in the room. they want to know where he is in relation to the civilian hostage and they want to know if there's other gunmen as well. and if there are, where are they positioned?
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what type of weapons they're carrying. and s.w.a.t. teams typically train for the worst case scenario. they don't want to go in to this situation with their weapons and have to flush this guy out. but if they have to, they will. and that's what they're trained to do. so that tac unit is working very closely with those sharpshooters and with the command team. everybody's having a nice, close look at this situation. hopefully, like i said, they'll be able to keep this thing nice and calm and come to some type of resolution which is really the goal of that law enforcement agency or with any good agency. >> at the moment, what we know is that -- we haven't seen any developments on the ground. everything, as you said, does seem to have been put into a holding pattern. this business about tanks on the back, this is information that was given to a news organization by somebody who came out of the building. what do you make of that, aaron, tanks? >> i make two things -- either
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it's somebody who's trying to make it seem like he has an explosive or it's somebody who does have an explosive and is trained in improvised explosive devices, which is what this tank would seem like. either that or he's using some type of oxygen respirator in order to breathe oxygen in the event the building is burned down -- >> aaron, let me interrupt you for a second. let's go to a press conference. >> right now, it's still very fluid. >> what about employees in the building? i've talked to some employees who were told to take cover, to lock themselves into offices and then they were told they could leave the building. do you have most of the employees out or are there still some employees in there? >> i don't know about how many employees are still there and how many have been out of the building. >> does this man have hostages? >> i don't know that. >> is he still in the lobby of the building? >> we're speaking with him now. he's in the building. >> is he in a known place to you?
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>> that's something i'm not able to confirm. >> is he an employee there? who is this guy? >> can't confirm his name. he's an asian male. and his concerns are with the discovery corporation right now. >> were any shots fired? >> we have an unconfirmed report of one. i haven't confirmed that yet. >> any injuries at all? >> there's also some other suspicious bags around him. what can you tell us about that? >> there may be some other potential devices with him or near him that he brought in. but, again, none of this is confirmed. >> have there been any injuries? >> is this a bomb attached to his body? >> when i say an explosive device, potential or possible, yeah, that's a bomb. >> that's what it looks like to you? >> well, that's what some people are saying it could be, yes. >> has he indicated that he would hurt himself or anyone else? >> not going to be able to get into that kind of detail right
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now. >> did he used to work for discovery? >> i don't know anything about his history. that's all i want to say right now. i wanted to give you some information. we can confer off camera in a few minutes. >> that's corporal dan fritz of the montgomery county police. here's what he's told us. if aaron is still with me, i want to get his evaluation on what we just heard. he said that they are speaking with him. so not only -- well, we thought they had only visual contact. they are speaking with the hostage-taker. described as an asian male who has got some issue with the discovery corporation, that is discovery channel's headquarters in silver spring, maryland. they have unconfirmed reports of one shot fired. that may have been the shot that was fired that caused somebody to call the police. and they say that he may have other potential devices around him. they do believe that the device is an explosive. aaron, new information, a lot more information that we were talking about a few moments ago. number one to me is the fact
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that they are talking to him. >> yes, there's a couple of things that i noted. that dialogue is active. let me tip my hat quickly to law enforcement officials who are handling this case. they are keepg their cards very close to their chest with the media, which is very important. let me explain why. intelligence and information is something that has to be very carefully safeguarded while situation is active to avoid allowing the subject who, from what i understand, has some type of beef with the discovery channel. it seems like he could have potentially been some type of disgruntled employee or contractor, the fact that the authorities are being very limited about what they're discussing right now is for intelligence and operational purposes. >> aaron, hang on one second for me. i think brianna keilar now, cnn's brianna keilar is on the
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scene. are you there, brianna? >> reporter: yeah, i'm here about a block away from the discovery building. i tried to get a little closer but police have set up a perimeter and they're turning people away for obvious safety reasons if you do get close. i'm standing in a crowd of people. some of them are actually discovery employees who went through the evacuation. and they're now outside the building. and they say they really don't know what's going on. there have been a number of rumors. actually have one employee, ali, if you want to talk to her. she was in the building and evacuated. >> yes. >> reporter: there's someone from discovery coming out and telling them, please, some of them should be going on. let me put you on the phone. this is lori and she evacuated. >> thanks, brianna. lori, are you there? >> yes, i am. hi. >> you work in that building? >> yes, i do. >> tell me what happened. >> well, everything is just
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rumors at this point. but from what we understand, there is a gunman in the lobby and he has explosives taped to his chest. they have just successfully evacuated the building. and everything else is rumor right now. >> okay. what do you see around you? you're about a block away from the building. >> that's correct. >> as far as you know, are all your colleagues out? >> as far as i know, yes, everyone is out. i do believe that there are hostages. but i think they are members of the security staff. again, this is all rumor. but i know all of my co-workers, who i work with on a daily basis, as far as i know, are out. >> you have heard rumors that it may be more than one hostage and that it is possibly members of the security staff in the building? >> that's correct. >> okay. how did you learn about this? >> well, we had one of the security staffers -- i'm on the second floor. so i'm fairly close to the lobby.
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when he was coming upstairs telling us that we needed to leave the building, i asked him what was going on. and he said a few of our colleagues were being held -- >> he said two of his colleagues. we can't get that confirmed by the police. you got out of the building. you didn't go through the lobby, i assume? >> that's correct. they kept us near the garage. >> what have they told you to do at this point? >> from what i understand, a co-worker of mine has a blackberry, just read on e-mail that all employees are actually requested to leave and if their cars are still in the building -- most of us were unable to get to our cars. we're just asked to take alternate means of transportation home. >> they don't want you going back to the building until they figure out exactly what the danger is? >> that's correct. that's correct. from what i understand. >> i assume you have not been in this situation before? >> that's correct, never. >> what's the mood around there with your colleagues? was it panic, was it orderly?
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how did it all go down? >> it was a little bit of both. when we first heard the news, we heard that the gunman was mobile and that we were told to go into locked offices. so there was a lot of panic there, especially as news started to come out that he had explosives taped to his chest. so we were really panicking then trying to keep it under control. and then there was a loudspeaker announcement that said we should go to the stairwells. that's when we were told by people to evacuate the building. we were initially told to go to the higher floors in the building. i'm not sure what the reasons were for that. maybe that was in case there was a detonation, we would be considered safer higher up. but i'm not sure. eventually they told us to leave the building. >> did everybody coordinate their own way out, were there marshals -- how did you you all figure out how to get out? >> we had people with us who had blackberries.
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i really a p.a. announcement. there always seemed to be people around us who knew what to do and were up on the most recent updates telling us where to go. it was orderly. it was orderly. >> and you have no reason -- there's nothing that you know of that would make somebody want to do this, right? you don't come up against this a lot in your line of work? >> that's correct. this is the first time that i have ever encountered anything like this. i had heard rumors that the person who is the person with the explosives taped to his chest is someone who's mentally unstable and i know last year he organized some sort of -- against discovery and he -- [ inaudible ]. i've heard rumors it's the same person. >> we don't have much information, as these cases often go. there's a lot flying around which we don't have yet from the police.
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but we're trying to get as much information as possibly. you're looking at the discovery building in silver spring, maryland. right now, right outside of washington, d.c., there's a hostage situation in there. lori, thank you very much for the information that you've brought us today. i want to just check with kelly. do we have sabina on the phone? we're working on somebody else whose husband was in the building and she's been in communication with him. but we do believe -- as far as we know, the police were not able to confirm that there's anybody else in that building or tell us that everybody's out of the building. we do know that the building was evacuated. what we just heard from lori who works in the building was that she and other workers got an e-mail. they had people who were sort of in touch with them and she saw everybody getting out of the building or at least she saw people getting out of the building. unable to confirm whether everybody is out of the building. they were not taken through the lobby. hang on one second.
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we are just getting word in from our affiliate wjla, the people who are -- they have now taken some stretchers inside. one stretcher is inside -- has gone inside the building. that's what we know. we know the police are in touch with the hostage-taker and one stretcher has now gone inside the building. kelly, do we know who's gone in with that stretcher? that's the information. we are getting information in a very piecemeal fashion about the hostage-taking at the discovery building in silver spring, maryland. we know that as people evacuated the building, they were not allowed to go through the lobby. they went through -- they came out different exits. jor levs was just telling us about how it's a big building. not everybody was able to get to the garage or get their car out. it's an area that a lot of people use to get to work in their car. they have been informed by discovery that if the car is still in the garage, leave it. go home, find another way home,
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get out of there. do not come back until the situation is cleared up. police are investigating that there is -- that the hostage-taker has an explosive device or more than one explosive device on him. we don't know what that is. one eyewitness said that it looked like he had tanks on him. police did not confirm what that -- what the explosives were but that the fire marshal's office which has the explosive detection unit is looking into it. they have visuals of this hostage-taker, this man. they believe he is somebody who has a grievance of some sort with discovery corporation. they also think one shot may have been fired but not since the police have been called. this may have been the originating shot that got police to get there. an eyewitness also says he has a silver revolver. police did confirm that they suspect there is a bomb involved in this. josh, we've been looking at this picture from wjla, this helicopter circling the campus
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of discovery channel. you've got an image of it there. tell me what you've got. >> let's stay on the pictures we're looking at right here. i have a map of the area. shows you what a busy section of maryland it is of silver spring, maryland, which is just north of washington, d.c. it's a suburb for some people. but it is a busy city. clearly it's having an impact on the entire area. streets were shut down as a result of this. let's go back to the live pictures. i want to talk you through some of the details that we've been getting here as cnn. some of our latest reporting about the situation there. i'm going to start off by mentioning that we heard about a stretcher going in. let's not jump to conclusions about that. it's possible there was somebody who was running down a staircase and bumped an arm -- >> that's a good suggestion. i was on with aaron cohen a few minutes ago who's trained in s.w.a.t. teams and he also said,
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look, one of the things that has to be done here, one of the things the police are trying to do is calm the whole thing down and slow it down. it's so -- we hear rumors very quickly. we have to make sure we don't make assumptions. we saw a stretcher go into the building. that's all we know. >> i've covered hostage situations where a stretcher has gone in and no one was shot. you'll be happy to hear this. the children from the day care center which is inside discovery channel have, indeed, we thought we had it earlier. we have confirmed they have been evacuated and are sheltered at a nearby building. all the children who were in that day care center, safely tang ou taken out. an e-mail earlier from discovery channel, they said the company had reason to believe there is an armed gunman at 1 discovery place. at the time they said all employees should take cover in a locked office immediately.
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people have done that and contacted loved ones or othered from the offices in which they were, obviously hoping no one is giving specific details about where they are in that building. keep yourself safe and do everything authorities are telling you to do. they have control here. something else i can tell you ab, we're getting information here -- you know this. more of the details we're getting in right now, describing seeing the mobilization of a bomb squad and a large armored vehicle that was pulling a trailer. again, that is something that would happen in a situation like this, especially given what authorities have been saying is reported to be in that building -- we out here who aren't the authorities don't know exactly what this apparent gunman has with him, if it could be some kind of explosive device. it absolutely makes sense that they are mobile lizi -- mobilizing that squad. police received the call about
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1:00 p.m. eastern time. that would be 10:00 a.m. pacific time, of a man with a gun and the possibly explosives according to police. that's the time frame from when this call first came in from 1 discovery place, which is the channel's headquarters. discovery channel being the parent company of a lot of channels that are out there, not just the discovery network. we are going to keep getting little pieces of information. we'll share those with you when we have them confirmed, when it's time, when it's safe and that includes any information about this gunman. given what we heard in the brief news conference about communication and a visual, we certainly have reason to believe that authorities are making progress and are potentially in a position at this point to begin the conversation as we were hearing from police and our guest aaron cohen, the possibility of having conversations that might lead to the next step in this case. that is where things stand right now. >> we're looking at pictures -- this is tape of people coming out of the building and those children from the day care being relocated. we understand the children are
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all out of the day care. i should tell you, we don't know for sure anything. the police officer did not say for sure that everybody is out of that building. he did not say for sure that there's anybody in the building. we know there's a hostage-taker and there's a hostage. is aaron cohen still on the phone? have we got aaron? >> i'm here. >> aaron, i want to go down a list with you because you and i talked before we knew much information. then we got a little more information directly from the police who as you said are being very cautious. that means the information i think we got from them can be trusted. i think this story has become better as we started following it because we know that they are talking to this gunman. number two, we know that he appears to have some issue with -- they say he's got some issue with the discovery corporation. does that make it better for you or worse for you, that you know that there's a motive or there may be a motive? >> well, from a tactical perspective, the fact that this
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isn't anyone outside of the disgruntled range is a good thing. it means you have a specific person who went to a specific place who's angry and yes, he's armed and yes, he has an explosive. but what we don't have an active shooter. and that's huge for law enforcement. what we don't have is a guy who went to a building and just opened fire. what we have is a building that's been cleared out. there may potentially be people inside. like you said, as we piece together the information, regardless of how close law enforcement is keeping quiet about the immediate intelligence or information for the purposes of being able to protect the operation, we can still draw color and try and bring out all the things we know could be happening. for instance, the fact that i overheard something about a bomb squad. the bomb squad is a typical call-out when you have a potential explosive device. that means -- >> right. so a bomb squad doesn't mean
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there's a bomb and a stretcher doesn't mean there's somebody injured? >> no. but what it means is all the layering is in place to be able to deploy those methods as needed, which means that the city is properly trained and equipped to be able to handle those situations. post-9/11, most of these squait units and most of the first responders have received equipment and training and funding which fortunately carries over to situations that don't involve terror so the training and the overall ability to be able to respond has been a lot higher in the last seven or eight years. >> ali, do you mind if i jump in? there are a lot of people who are watching right now and are wondering if there's some kind of information out there that people might have that might help authorities in a situation like that. should people be racking their brains if they've been to that building and might have some contact with this individual or given that police have communication and a visual, are we pretty safe to believe the
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authorities are contacting anyone they need to to get more information on this person? >> well, there's a couple of things that go on on a command level with tactics involving a hostage situation. one is when people are evacuating the building, they're typically brought into a sterile area or sterilized area where they can then be lightly interrogated, for lack of a better term, or debriefed on specifically what they saw. for instance, you had people coming out and speaking to cnn and talking to the audience, you want to make sure that those people who are being brought out of the building who have firsthand information about what happened inside can debrief law enforcement and be able to tell them physically what they saw. that's really important. number two, being able to communicate any information regarding that particular subject or suspect who's inside that building holding the hostage and be able to give them more information pertaining to that individual which will then lead to on-site investigating more phone calls potentially to the family or friends -- >> that's what i'm thinking, the
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contacts of this person. we can believe the authorities have enough information that they will be contacting the people out there who might have information on this person that might help authorities? >> right. they apparently -- >> here's what i will tell you. the authorities are never going to have enough information in this situation. ideally they want to try and get in touch with the family or friends or co-workers or somebody who had some kind of relationship to this guy to be able to get as much information on him as possible for the purpose of being able to reduce risk to the situation by slowing it down even further. absolutely. >> aaron, if they have some information, if they have an identity and maybe they can connect with somebody, they seem to think he's got a grievance with the company, that's what the police told us. when you have that buffet of information in front of you, does it make the job of the negotiators simpler? does it mean that there's a more likely outcome of a -- a positive outcome? >> it doesn't mean the outcome
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is going to be more positive. it means the chances of reducing the risk to the situation do increase. and the reason why is because if in fact he was an employee, one of the things i would be looking for immediately is this suspect's or subject's information with the company. i would be pulling those files and i would be getting access to his information to find out all of his particulars so that somebody can be sent to that house right away and begin to have a look at everything they can piece together to try and put together what we call a behavioral profile. what that will do is help the management determine if in fact this guy is violent. the fact that he is aggressive and the fact that he may be psychotic and may not have taken his medication and all these factors doesn't mean that he is going to open fire and start killing people. that's what law enforcement needs to be careful about. he's still treated as a person, as a human being. but at the same time with a much higher risk level and as a
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threat. they don't want to kill anybody. they don't want to fire their weapons if they can -- >> aaron, stand by for a second. we were just looking at pictures, live pictures of heavily armed police heading into the building. i have on the phone with me chief scott graham of the montgomery county fire department. i know it's a fire department who is sending in those bomb experts. chief, tell me what you know. >> sir, what you're seeing is a contingency of law enforcement officers continuing to assess the situations down here. there's -- it is an active incident. i will tell you that approximately 1:00 this afternoon at the discovery communications building in downtown silver spring, georgia avenue and colesville road, close to the d.c. line f you're not familiar with the area, an adult asian male entered the building. we can confirm that he is armed and that he does have some sort of package with him. the montgomery county police are
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in contact with the person at this time. they are speaking with him. there have been unconfirmed reports of a shot fired. that is truly unconfirmed. we have no reports of any injuries at this time. there is -- this is an active incident. it would be premature to speculate on any exact causes as to why this is occurring. but the police department is speaking with the gentleman a actively right now. >> that's good news. chief, is it your department -- is the fire department that's got the bomb experts or the police? >> montgomery county fire and rescue service is the host for the fire and explosive investigation section. however, there's a unified effort here between montgomery county police, montgomery county fire and our regional partners including the federal agencies. >> we heard from corporal dan fritz of montgomery police that the feeling at the moment is
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that this package with him is a bomb. do you share that view? >> it would be premature. we have to treat every incident as though it may be. we're still working with the fire and explosive investigators and the montgomery county police to determine exactly what the package is. >> chief, i want to ask you, we're getting word in from law enforcement, they have released the name. they believe that the hostage-taker is james lee. is that information that you have as well, chief? >> no, sir, we have not released any name. >> okay. is that building evacuated? >> we are working with the building management now to make sure that we have an accurate accountability of the building. >> do you know if there are any employees still in that building who are not hostages? >> at this time, there may be employees in the building, yes, sir. >> do you know how many hostages there are? >> not at this time. i do not have a confirmed number. >> chief, you have your -- you
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said there's a unified effort to determine what this package is. we heard from corporal fritz there may be more than one package. we heard from an eyewitness that it looked like he had tanks on him. what do you know about that? >> well, again, it's a situation that we are assessing. we do have our explosives technicians, our bomb technicians looking at every possible situation inside the building. as i said, it wouldn't be prudent to say that there are x amount of packages -- >> i don't know if i've got chief scott there anymore. kelly, are you there? chief scott, i think we've lost chief scott. the police have not released the name of the suspect. you are looking at live pictures right now. we do believe, though, that law enforcement has told us that the suspect is james lee.
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and you are seeing -- this is what chief scott was just telling me, there is a unified command that deals with explosives in montgomery county. they are the home for it at the firen't. they are treating it as an explosive. this is somebody who apparently has a grievance with the discovery corporation. he is not able to confirm that there are no other hostages or there are no other people in that building. but there is communication ongoing with the man who appears to be -- who is armed and appears to have one hostage. we do know that a stretcher has gone into the building. but we do not know why. we do know that the bomb unit is there and you are seeing a vehicle that appears to be part of that. aaron cohen is on the phone with me. he has been following this. he trained s.w.a.t. teams. he understands all of this very well. we're getting a fair amount of new information on an ongoing
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basis. given the new information we have, what do you now make of the situation? >> well, i think this is a really tough situation, first of all. and the reason why is because there's two operational goals. one is to preserve the life of obviously the hostages inside. a new piece of information i heard from the chief just now from montgomery -- by the way, it's important for everyone to know, this is obviously a joint agency operation and these counties and cities work very closely together. it seems like this is turning out just the way these agencies train for. there could be a potential hostage. wre don't know. it's treated as if. it's always treated as if. the explosive, whether or not it's real or not is treated as if it's a hot explosive or real explosive which is why we have the bomb tech team which also seemed to be coordinated. the fact that there's an open dialogue right now with mr. lee, or the subject's name who's now been released, means that things have slowed down, which is a
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positive. and the fact that we've seen the s.w.a.t. team in place means that the possibility of a potential entry -- tactical entry into the building has been taken into account. the stretcher, i've heard a couple of mentions of it. could very well be a talented negotiator on the phone -- these guys are really highly trained. it's important for everyone to know that. they spend hours and days learning how to talk to people and deal with them. they try to get their finger on the pulse of what's going on with these subjects, when they're disgruntled, for the purpose of slowing down the situation. a very talented negotiator could very well have negotiated somebody who could be injured some medical attention. that does two things. it builds trust, which is what the negotiator is trying to do.
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it also allows somebody who's in need of potential medical care the ability to have access to a medical technician. so if that's the case, then that's fantastic. it's a positive step and it's forward momentum and all ties into buying time. but based on what the chief said right now, again, i can tell you from my take that laucw enforcement is holding cards closely to their chest and it's for a tactical reason and because they want to limit the amount of information that this subject has access to if in fact there is a television inside the cnn headquarters. i've been to the cnn building in los angeles. there's tvs on everywhere. we've got cnn everywhere. we've got networks on and tv running 24/7 because of our news appetite. it's important that they don't give away anything that can be used against law enforcement in this operation. >> aaron, here's a question for you. part of this is because we're
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trying to provide a bit of a service -- this is a big building in an urban area. people want to know what's going on. it's always a fine balance between what is a service to people to know and what isn't and what could actually be dangerous. but what we cannot get an answer from anybody on -- i don't think anybody's being coy with us -- they just may not know. we cannot get confirmation that there are no more civilians in that building. >> first of all, people absolutely have the right to know what's going on, especially the people who live and work in that neighborhood and everyone in this country has a right to know what's going on, i agree. but it's important for the people who want to know, who need that information. right now, the most important thing is to let law enforcement, let the s.w.a.t. team, let these bomb technicians, the fire department, the fbi, they need to be quiet and handle their business. they need to do it very carefully so we can get this guy out alive and get the hostage
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out alive -- >> the preservation of life on all fronts is going to be the paramount here. as you have told us several times over the course of the last hour, the aim of the police now is going to be to calm the situation down and try to talk everybody out of that as opposed to anything else. what we do know is there's a man with a hostage, at least one. we don't know if that building have been successfully evacuated. aaron, stay on the line because my colleague, rick sanchez, is going to take over the coverage from this point in. we have sort of a collection of details. i know you are going to bring our viewers up to speed on it. what we do know now is they've got contact with this hostage-taker. they still think he may have -- there's a possibility that he may have explosives on hip. they apparently have visual contact with him. they have some kind of contact with him where they're speaking to him. and we do not know that everybody is out of that building. we know a stretcher went in. we don't know why. rick, more questions and answers

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